Follow the Moon: Astrology of intention and mindfulness

by Teri Parsley Starnes

Teri’s interest with astrology lies with helping people see how following a practice of intention and self-awareness leads to a fuller relationship with Mystery. Astrology is a wonderful tool for this. Her weekly column orients readers to the seasonal energy of
each month’s Sun sign in order to set magical/mindful intention for the lunar month beginning at the New Moon.

Each week Teri will write about the unfolding energies that support and challenge our intentions. The ebb and flow of the lunar cycle resides deep in our souls. Through following the phases of the Moon, we remember the natural cycles that guide us.

Astrologers divide the lunar month into eight phases. These are:
New Moon: Dreaming
Crescent Moon: Beginning
First Quarter Moon: Manifesting
Gibbous Moon: Perfecting
Full Moon: Illuminating
Disseminating Moon: Sharing
Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating
Balsamic Moon: Surrendering

Come follow the Moon as we practice intentional awareness together.

Forecast March 17, 2013 – March 23

I feel like a cranky toddler who doesn’t want to wake up from her nap. I remember my kids going through this when they were little. If you are a parent, you probably know what I mean, those days when nothing makes them happy, not the staying in bed and not the getting up. Best word for it: cranky. This late Pisces season* that is now in the process of shifting over into Aries is just like that for me. This week, we are all going through the transition from napping to waking. How does it feel for you?

For myself, noticing this crankiness, I invite mindfulness—a state of non-judgmental self-awareness. Then, I am able to ask myself, Why is this emotional state showing up? How do I make room for it and allow it to move me forward into Spring? How is this mood part of manifesting my intention this lunar cycle?

The transition between one sign in the zodiac to the next takes a bit of an adjustment. The qualities of adjoining signs are quite different from each other. However, I’ve always felt that the transition between Pisces and Aries is one of the most difficult. Seasonally, we are moving from Winter to Spring, from an expanded awareness of the whole to an individuated awareness of the self. Part of me wants to stay in the collective sea and the other part wants to get on with my own journey. The first experience we have as newborns is leaving the womb where we were merged with our mothers to begin life as a distinct individual. That change is what we are dealing with right now. Our birthcharts are set for this moment. The moment of the transition between the womb and life is the pattern that impacts our whole lives. It’s kind of a big deal. Maybe that’s why I feel cranky. I don’t really want to bring all the consciousness that I can to this moment. I want to space out, forget, eat too much, sleep too much. It makes perfect sense to me. And so I notice.

This week, Spring begins as the Sun enters Aries on March 20. The chart for that moment is like a birthchart for the collective. Astrologers call this type of chart an ingress chart and it can be used to forecast the coming year for a nation. So, if you are also feeling some pressure about the significance of the moment and not sure you really want to dive into it all, give yourself a break. I always tried to give my kids lots of room when they were cranky. I know transitions can be hard.

Forecast March 17, 2013 – March 23

Moon enters Gemini at 1:09 am

Sunday, March 17. The planets in their journeys reflect states of being. One of the things that Mercury’s retrograde cycle reflects is the frustration of communication, commerce, thought, or travel not working out the way we want it to. There’s been a bug in the systems the last three weeks. That can make any of us cranky. Today, Mercury stations direct. We can look forward to more clarity, but probably not just yet. The Moon is in Mercury’s home sign and so we may think about things faster than we can actually accomplish them. If you are planning on being part of or around St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, take extra care to slow down, others may not be thinking clearly.

Moon in Gemini
Monday, March 18.
Mercury stationed direct in Pisces yesterday. That planet has seeded something in our unconscious we may not understand until after April 6 when it reaches its retrograde degree. However, subtly, we may notice being called to wake up into the action of the impending Spring—just a little. There are no major aspects today, yet the energy of connection, conversation, and curiosity is strong.

Moon enters Cancer at 1:55pm

March 19—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. “I open to the dream I will live by for the next year;” that is the intention I am investigating this lunar cycle. There are different kinds of dreams. The Pisces dream comes from the unconscious, isn’t easy to express in words, and may not ever be completely understood. This type of dream leads to an initiatory experience. To be led by this kind of dream is to say I will let my own soul, which I have no control over, be a guiding force in my life. I will be led by my own becoming without knowing what I will become.

At this phase of the Moon we encounter challenges to intention, second thoughts, doubts, limitations in understanding, and blockages in flow. These challenges are necessary to the initiation. Today is the last day of Sun in Pisces for this year. With the Moon in another water sign, Cancer, honor the unconscious dream and the challenge of trusting in the wisdom of that force. Offer a home to your own becoming.

Moon in Cancer
March 20—Vernal Equinox. The transition is over; the birthday of the year is here. From here on out, life speeds up. The chart for the Equinox shows Mars in Aries moving towards a conjunction with Uranus and a square to Pluto. The Moon in Cancer is forming a square to Mars/Uranus and is opposing Pluto. These Cardinal signs provoke each other. Essential parts of life—like Selfhood, Home, and Mastery—are agitated by these planets. Things that have needed to change for a long time are suddenly on the front burner. Other planets have strong voices now too. Saturn in Scorpio is at the apex of a Yod that involves Jupiter in Gemini and Uranus. We search for simple solutions, but Saturn forces us to be accountable to things that usually are hidden. Check out assumptions. Don’t believe your first thoughts. What is really motivating the changes you are making? What is really motivating others? These desires go deeper than our first impressions. And because of this depth, real healing is possible. Another Yod, with Jupiter at the apex challenges our intentions to go slow and be thoughtful. In spite of the tension, volatility, and drama of this chart, there is a strong underlying component of water. We can empathize with others and come from a place of compassion. This may be our saving grace.

Moon in Cancer

Thursday, March 21. The day begins with a harmonious connection between Saturn and Chiron, offering hope that real healing is possible. We are encouraged to commit to healing both self and others. Any Scorpio style of healing is especially potent—those methods that are soulful, depth-oriented, and transformational. Venus joins the crowd of planets beginning to amass in Aries adding spark to our relationships. Maybe it is time to ask ourselves what we really want from our friendships and partnerships. Allow others in your life a little more freedom. Breathing space can be good. 

Moon enters Leo at 1:50 am
Friday, March 22.
The Moon being in a fire sign today just may save us from the strong impulsivity that this day holds. The Leo Moon encourages us to be playful, creative, and spontaneous. Just the thing for when Mars comes into an exact conjunction with Uranus today at 8 degrees of Aries. These two planets can ignite rapid change, especially in a fire sign like Aries. The key ideas for Uranus: revolution, change, authenticity, radicalization, awakening, and innovation will be in evidence. Honor these parts of yourself. We are officially in the season of awakening. In the evening, as the Moon squares Saturn we have the opportunity to take a breath and reflect on how to use this energy responsibly over the long haul.

Moon in Leo

March 23—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. The last few days have been energetic, exciting, and possibly even alarming in some way. There are gifts in all of these experiences that can feed our intentions. The gibbous phase of the Moon brings new challenges because we are still reaching for something, trying our hardest to manifest something new. Tension builds between yearning and reality. We feel this tension today from the quincunx aspect between Jupiter and Saturn. If Jupiter is wild hope then Saturn is grim reality. Both of these states actually feed what we are building. Where does this paradox lead you?

*To follow along with the development of this lunar cycle read the New Moon forecast for March 11 at

** All times are CDT.

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at

Astrologer Teri Parsley Starnes’ weekly astrological forecast following the 8 phases of the Moon. To read previous posts visit the Starsdance blog [].